David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Every year, the fans vote for the All Star Game starters. Usually they get it right, but sometimes they get it wrong. This is one of those years when they got it wrong.
I understand the idea that the All Star Game is "for the fans." It's a primarily fan-oriented event and it would make sense for the fans to be able to choose who plays in the game. However, sometimes the fans are idiots. Some teams have bigger named players and play more nationally televised games. Some teams are located in New York or Los Angeles while others are in Milwaukee or Cleveland. In the case of the 2013 All Star Game, the fans got it wrong.
It's not really a big deal, but if you want the best players represented in the All Star Game, then Dwight Howard probably shouldn't be the starting center in the Western Conference. And Kevin Garnett probably shouldn't be starting for the Eastern Conference. And Rajon Rondo shouldn't be starting in the Eastern Conference either. I understand that Rondo has had a very good year and has posted a bunch of triple doubles and stuff. But he's not the best point guard in the conference and it was on display last night.
"Name me a point guard in the Eastern Conference having a better year. I'll wait." -- Byron Scott
I assume that Byron Scott is still waiting. Kyrie leads all of his rival Eastern Conference point guards in PER, points per game, and true shooting %. His team is 11-32, but that's not Kyrie's fault. His team has been plagued by injuries and generally lacks the necessary talent to win lots of games at this point. But they games that they do win, are typically because Kyrie Irving exploded and took over the game. He did it last night and the Boston Celtics were firsthand witnesses. Doc Rivers said after the game that he voted for Kyrie to make the All Star Game as a reserve. Rivers tried to describe what went wrong in the game for the Celtics last night. When he talked about the fourth quarter, the best he could do was say: "And then Kyrie Irving happened."
One of the best defensive teams and one of the best defensive coaches in the league could do absolutely nothing to contain Kyrie. He scored 15 points in the 4th quarter. The Celtics scored 17 points in the 4th quarter.
You can talk about how Rondo has more assists and how he helps his teammates more than Kyrie does. But the stats show that the Cavs' offense misses Kyrie when he's out more than the Celtics' offense misses Rondo when he's out. The Cleveland offense is 7.5 points per 100 possessions worse when Kyrie sits down. The Boston offense actually gets 2.6 points per 100 possessions BETTER when Rondo sits down.
Jrue Holiday has been great as well, but he hasn't dominated games like Kyrie has been able to do on a fairly regular basis.
It's possible that the casual fan has never seen Kyrie Irving play. The Cavs have never been on national television with him on the team. The All Star Game is for the fans and they should get to see the players that they want to see. I think they want to see Kyrie Irving, they just don't know it yet.
For the record, I firmly believe that Kyrie will make the All Star team as a reserve. But I'm greedy and that's not enough for me. He's the best point guard in the conference and there's a good chance that that's the way it is for the next several years. Put the best players in the starting lineup and let the fans see the future of the league. Because at this point, Kyrie isn't a rising star. He's a full-fledged superstar -- and some people are missing it.